Besides its contrasting markings, the Russian rat snake’s size makes it an impressive animal to behold. Most of their time is spent in the safety of hide boxes or buried under substrate. I keep mine in boxes measuring 12 inches long, 7 inches wide and 3 inches tall. While growing this species go through drastic color change, and although there are only 3 confirmed color variations they compensate it with great personalities. However keep in mind that it’s a controversial topic, so you should research about it before deciding if you want to keep your snakes together. Although it is venomous, the snake is timid and non-aggressive. They seem to thoroughly enjoy climbing all over their keepers. You really don’t need to do anything special for them to shed properly. Russian Rat snakes are really hardy, the only problems we encountered were mites. Eggs hatch in 40 to 60 days. We provide at least two hides in each end of the enclosure, you can use boxes, flower pots (when they are young), a hollow tree trunk, anything that will be big enough for your snake.

Subadults and adults are fed up to three food items at a time. Although Russians have a shorter activity period than most other snakes, they make up for it by exhibiting behavior and interactivity that makes them a favorite with those who keep them. This species occurs up to 2,000 m (6,600 ft) altitude and can live in cooler areas than many other snakes. Russian rat snakes have often been called the friendliest of large snakes. Common names for E. schrenckii include Amur rat snake, Manchurian black racer, Manchurian black water snake, Russian rat snake, Schrenck's rat snake, and Siberian rat snake. The Common European Adder (Vipera berus) is a venomous snake native to a wide area ranging from Britain to central France in the west, and reaching as far east as the Russian Pacific Coast and the Korean Peninsula. At one time Russian (as well as other European and Asian) rat snakes were classified in the same genus as American rat snakes. It can attain an adult length of 6 feet and has been known to occasionally reach 8 feet. For juveniles and adults the two most popular substrates are shredded aspen bedding or coco-coir. Raising Russian rat snakes is similar to the husbandry of commonly kept kingsnakes, milk snakes and other rat snakes. These snakes are having really fast metabolism, so be ready to clean often. Distinctly Un-American. Being from cooler part of the world they do well in a room temperature between 21°C (70°F) to 28°C (82°F).

Many snakekeepers would say they have personality.

The information contained in this care sheet reflect the opinions and methods of the mentioned breeder, based on their expertise and long-established experience.

Several Russian rat snake owners also have remarked that the snakes appear to be intelligent. Russian rat snakes may very well be the ugly ducklings of the serpent world. At night, the Russian rat snake will select a hide box closest to the temperature it needs, but they are rarely used during the day. The northern, darker, is the most common variety. We believe that as a really active species, they need big terrariums/vivariums. This is my Russian Rat snake Levi.

You could choose an anerythristic corn snake which will be similarly monochrome, or a Russian rat snake which will be mostly black and a bit smaller and more docile than their American cousin. As they grow, their enclosure size must as well. Place multiple hides around the enclosure. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. [3], Endemic to Northeast Asia, E. schrenckii is found in China, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia. Hatchling can be kept in small tubs or racks as they are rather shy at the beginning (too big enclosure can stress them). Preferring small rats or even a few rat pups as a meal, some will not touch adult rats. The common name, Russian rat snake, is misleading as only a small portion of the geographic range of E. schrenckii is in Russia. For an egg box, I use a plastic container with holes drilled into it. Before brumation you shouldn’t feed your snakes for two to three weeks and gradually lower the temperatures. If you’re using a light bulb, be sure to include a bulb guard. E. schrencki has been noted up to 6 m (20 ft) high in trees. In captivity there is no need for them to hunt for food or feel concerned about predators. Gradually lower temperatures over a few weeks until they have reached brumation level. The Manchurian black water snake is an excellent swimmer (hence one common name) and is a very good climber, as it is semi-arboreal.

Mongolian Red List of Reptiles and Amphibians. Russian Rats are one of the species that can be kept in harems, or in groups of females. The common name, Russian rat snake, is misleading as only a small portion of the geographic range of E. schrenckii is in Russia. While growing this species go through drastic color change, and although there are only 3 confirmed color variations they compensate it with great personalities.

Coco-coir is best kept a little damp on the surface. Distribution : China, Korea, Russia, Mongolia. Eggs usually hatch within 40 days. Subject to long, cold winters, they may only be out from May through September in some parts of their range. They should be on fuzzy mice by the time they reach 1 year old. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. For their size, these Russian rat snakes rarely take large food items. They live in vide variety of environments: forests, mountains, farmlands, swamps, riverbanks.

Russian rat snakes make fascinating display animals, especially when kept in a seminatural vivarium. The most realistic problem beside mites is that your snake will become overweight as they love to eat, so you should watch their weight closely. If startled their first response is to run, not to bite, but most of the times they are more curious than scared. I hibernate mine at a temperature of 47 to 52 degrees for three months, though some breeders recommend a cooling period of five months. Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY, 2006,, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 March 2020, at 11:58. One of the most enjoyable aspects of keeping them is that they perch on a climbing branch and seem to observe what’s going on around them.

They seem to relax and take their captive lifestyle in stride. Snakes kept in very poor conditions can develop mouth rot, scale rot or respiratory infection, but with this species it’s really hard to achieve. Hatchlings can be kept in a rack system.

Climbing branches and changing the decoration once in a while are great ideas as it provides the means to explore “new” places. Males of this subspecies can breed at a younger age. Rather than wrapping around my fingers and assuming a defensive stance like any self-respecting American rat snake, the young Russian slithered backward and never made any attempt to stand its ground. Growing to a significant size, this subspecies has a strong inclination to climb.

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